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Bali

A language of Democratic Republic of the Congo

ISO 639-3bcp

Population  42,000 (1987 UBS). 5%–10% monolingual.
Region  Orientale Province, Tshopo District, Bafwasende Territory, Tshopo River south to Ituri River north, and Ituri River north bank.
Language map  Northern Democratic Republic of Congo
Alternate names   Baali, Dhibali, Kibaali, Kibala, Kibali, Libaali
Dialects  Bemili, Bakundumu, Bafwandaka, Bekeni. The Bemili dialect is central linguistically and geographically. Lexical similarity: 52% with Lika [lik]; 40%–45% with Bwa [bww] and Pagibete [pae]; 46% with Komo [kmw]; 40% with Bhele [bhy], Bila [bip], and Bera [brf]; 30% with Budu [buu] and Ndaka [ndk]; 25% with Lega languages and Lingala [lin].
Classification  Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, D, Lega-Kalanga (D.20)
Language use  Congo Swahili [swc] is spoken by leaders, nearly all young people and men (proficiency in certain domains), most women and older men (less fluently), many older women and young children (low proficiency). Lingala is used mainly by those who travel or have been in military service. French is spoken by the less than 5% with secondary school education.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–2%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%–40% in Congo Swahili.
Comments  ‘Kibali’ is the official name. ‘Dhibali’ is their own name. Speakers called ‘Babali’. SVO; prepositions, genitives before nouns; articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after nouns; question word sentence final; 1–3 prefixes; 1–5 suffixes; word order distinguishes role; affixes mark person, number of subject and object in one noun group; active, passive, reflexive; 2 causatives; aspect; comparatives; tonal, 3 tones; stress; 9 vowels. Swidden agriculturalists.
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